The last time a movie made me so hungry was when four of us went to see Eat Drink Man Woman in New York City and arrived so late, we had to take seats in the first row.Â Fortunately, this was on the Upper West where relief for a rumbling stomach was available on about every corner.Â Julie and Julia is about food and people who love it and the people who love them, and if you don’t salivate when Julie produces bruchetta (which I didn’t realize was in Mastering the Art of French Cooking), check your pulse.Â And then there’s the scene with the Sole Meuniere.
I took away two things from this wonderful film.Â First, I remembered in embarrassing detail how inept I was in the kitchen as a new bride of 23, literally could not figure out which side of a chicken went up in the roasting pan, or how long one could keep leftover stuffed pepper (don’t even ask).Â It didn’t help that my then mother-in-law was a graduate of an illustrious French cooking school.Â But then, Salvation!Â Julia Child and the PBS show, The French Chef.Â It saved my life, if not my marriage.Â I lived to cook again.
Specialty chef was on my short list of possible Encore careers as I wound down my 11-year freelance writing business at age 56.Â It never occurred to me that I should slow down or quit work.Â I wanted to make the world a better place through healthy food.Â The was pre-Vocation Vacations, so I took myself into Annemarie Colbin‘s The Natural Gourmet in New York for a three-day course to see if I could cut it, and I do mean that literally.Â The scene in which Julia masters knife skills on several pounds of onions comes to mind.Â At the end of the course, I acquired two recipes at The Natural Gourmet that I make to this day: a wonderful pea soup (flavored with curry and brunoise — very small dice of carrots, onions and celery) and a no-butter, no-sugar ‘healthy’ cookie with an almond and whole wheat flour dough.Â I know, it sounds disgusting.Â But sadly, I couldn’t master knife skills well enough to be happy as a professional chef, although I’ve improved with practice.Â Fortunately, I also loved yoga and movement … but that’s another story for another post, because…
Second, the film is also about blogging and how satisfying it can be, even if you don’t have a dynamite idea like the Julie/Julia Project and no aspirations to become a star blogger.Â I’ve been more slacker than blogger here, but I’m changing my ways.Â After all, where else can you write about whatever is on your mind? Â (Yeah, OK, there’s Facebook.)Â It’s a weblog.Â Not Tolstoy.